Summer Reading

Something surprising has arisen from all of these limited edition aprons I've been sewing from my fabric stash. After being so used to sewing multiples, I fully expected to be annoyed at having to make one at a time. However, all the extra time and effort that comes with physically sewing a unique piece is of no matter when you consider all the fun you can have designing a unique item. When you don't have to consider recreating a design element hundreds of times, your creativity is suddenly given some room to breathe and experiment and play! I don't know the last time I felt that way about sewing. And I've found myself turning to apron, needlework and even business books to add fuel to the fire, so to speak. Here are some of my favourites.

The Apron Book by EllynAnne Geisel
This book is a bit of a mishmash of history, anecdotes, sewing patterns, household tips and recipes. I especially loved all the personal memories shared throughout of mothers, grandmothers and even fathers tying on aprons, reinforcing the idea that aprons are so much more than a practical houseware.

A Is for Apron by Nathalie Mornu
This book is more of a how-to book for sewing various kinds of aprons, so I was pretty quick to dismiss it, that is until I discovered the vintage apron section. Six glorious pages of bright patterns, ruffles upon ruffles, delicate embroidery, and tulip pockets. This is what I turn to most often when I want to add a little something extra to an apron. They sure don't make them like they used to.

Complete Book of Sewing Techniques by Dorothy Wood
Seeing all these beautifully embellished vintage aprons has be yearning to add a similar touch to mine. Mikey J bought me this book for Christmas and it has been an invaluable resource for everything from identifying types of fabric to quilting to intricate lacework. Lately, I've been absorbed in the needlework section. So pretty.

Beginner's Guide to Sewing & Knitting by Helen Allen
This is a tiny 7x5 pocketbook that I inherited, I believe from the woman who gave me my first sewing machine. It covers everything that is in the book above, plus knitting and crochet, in 64 hand-illustrated pages. Haha! Obviously these are extremely condensed overviews, but there's something quaint about it that keeps me coming back for more. It's a much more portable resource, that's for sure.

This book has nothing to do with sewing or aprons, but it's no less interesting or inspiring to me.  I loved Kari Chapin's first book, The Handmade Marketplace, which is all about starting to sell your handmade crafts, so I knew I needed her sequel about growing said business. The timing is so perfect, it's like she's writing these for me! I'm only a few chapters in, but so far I'm impressed with the sheer amount of information. This is the meat and potatoes of business books and I can't wait to dive in!

I'm off to Montreal this weekend and you can be sure I'll be packing a couple of these. Now that I'm through The Hunger Games, I can give them my undivided attention.

What about you? What are you reading this summer?

Big Steps, Small Runs

I made a big step for my little biz last week, I placed my first wholesale fabric order! I've never ordered that much fabric before, and there was a lot to choose from, so naturally I agonized over my decisions. My first meeting was in March, if that gives you an idea of the process it's been. The butterflies definitely outweigh the hyperventilation though, as this means my business is growing and, most exciting of all, I'm going to have lots of new prints for fall and the holiday season! I hope you like my choices.

While I wait for them to arrive, I've made it my mission to clear some space for them on my shelves.  I didn't start out ordering wholesale, quite the opposite: I was always really nervous about buying large amounts of fabric and would instead pick up a yard or two here and there. A lot of these never made it off the shelf. So over the next few months I'm going to sew some one-of-a-kind and limited run products for you.  Here's a sneak peak of some of these works in progress.

I'm going to keep sewing away, but hope to start listing these fellas real soon. Keep an eye on the shop and social medias!

Hamilton Happenings: July 2012

Image via birdAve

There doesn't appear to be a whole lot going on in Hamilton this month. Ok, so I may have missed a couple events already by posting this two weeks in. Still, I have a feeling everyone is quietly planning behind the scenes to blow us away in September. That appears to be the trend, anyways. My advice: enjoy the down time. That seems to be my motto for a lot of things lately, but that's probably because it's good advice. That and it gives you permission to people-watch from a patio and call it supporting your community. Ha!

Art Crawl: July 13 / There are a bunch of fun new things to check out on James St. North tonight, like the newly opened AGH Design Annex, Dr. Disc's "Raise the Roof" anniversary concert series, and Blush on Wheels, a mobile clothing shop!

Hamilton Music and Film Festival: July 14-15 / This Ain't Hollywood and Studio 205 / A weekend festival celebrating and promoting up-and-coming talent, through music videos, short films, and live performances. Check out the full schedule and buy advance tickets here.

Timeraiser: July 19 / AGH / 6:30-9:30 / Part volunteer fair, part silent art auction and part night on the town, at this event you'll have the rare opportunity to bid on artwork with volunteer hours!

Hamilton Fringe Festival: July 19-29 / This 11-day unjuried theatre festival happens every summer in downtown Hamilton and seems to grow in size and talent every year. This year features 29 shows in 5 venues. You can read all about the plays and buy advance tickets here.